12 Dynamic Pieces of Advice (that you can implement today) from 12 Top Financial BloggersTweet
What if you could pick the brain of the net’s hottest financial bloggers? What would you ask? We know what you want to know what started things rolling in a positive direction. So we asked a dozen top bloggers the questions you wanted answers to:
What’s the most creative and lucrative money-saving advice you’ve ever received and what was the result of it?
The hope was to bring you a few tips that you can apply, starting today, so you can get on the road to financial success.
So, without further ado, let’s see what our Dynamic Dozen had to say about creative, lucrative and path-changing money advice:
The Diary of a Frugal Family had to say this: The most creative advice that I was given when I realised that we needed to change our spend habits was to start a blog;-) My blog is my online diary and because I have quite a lot of followers, I sometimes think about how a particular purchase would look to them as I kind of want to set a good example to them.
Editor’s note: Cass started her blog as a means to hold herself accountable for the changes she needed to make. How can you hold yourself publicly accountable so you stick to your goals?
Penny Golightly told us this: The best single piece of money-saving advice I’ve ever been given is this: Keep up to date with changes in technology, but don’t slavishly be an early adopter when it comes to any hardware such as phone handsets, tablets, gadgets etc.I think I’ve saved about 80% of my tech bill by doing this. Not all product launches are super-successful, so it’s good to hang back a bit and check out a few genuine and thorough consumer reviews to see whether something’s really worth buying. Many so-called product upgrades are unnecessary, and some of them are even a step backwards. In the meantime, while I’m waiting to see what’s really going on behind the marketing hype the price often comes down too. I’ve also bought some excellent ‘last year’s models’ for peanuts from bored early adopters.
Editor’s note: How many times have you plopped tech on your credit card, unnecessarily? Penny’s advice of holding off can save you hundreds or thousands each year.
Zephyr at College Fashion happily shared this secret with us: My best piece of money-saving advice is this (from one of my favorite money blogs for 20-somethings, iwillteachyoutoberich.com): Make “saving for things you love” a priority, and make a separate, named savings account for each of your savings goals. For example, I have a “Casadei Pumps” fund that’s been growing for a while now and is almost ready to cash out! So long as you are spending less than you make (and hopefully have an emergency fund, etc.), it’s totally OK to shamelessly save up for – and buy – things like expensive shoes. This goes for any fun indulgence – whether it’s travel, home decor, expensive meals at restaurants, the latest tech gadgets, whatever, figure out what YOU love and save up for it! The “named savings account” part helps you keep the goal in mind and make savings feel rewarding.
Editor’s Note: Zephyr has been really smart to heed this piece of advice from IWTYTBR. Setting aside money specifically for a certain goal is a great way to keep from dipping into money you need for other things.
MoneyNing let us in on his secret:The most lucrative bit of money-saving advice I know is to focus on the psychology side of things even when it may sometimes conflict with the math. For example, many people will end up doing much better if they pay off their smallest debt balance first, even though the math tells us that paying the debt with the highest interest rate will net the most benefit. By being able to eliminate the smaller debt balances, people end up being more motivated to save. That’s why “whatever works for you” is such an important idea in personal finance, because no matter how efficient the money saving idea, an individual will make it work as long as he/she believes in it.
Editor’s Note: David has really struck a chord here. It’s all about the psychology of money. You have to do what really clicks mentally for you. (Try paying off the small stuff first to help you build your money confidence.)
Frugal Mama even sent over a download for you! My Italian in-laws were extremely frugal, and were able to buy two houses and pay them off in a third of the time. They wrote down every penny they spent, and my father-in-law showed me the little chart they used. That was me as a newly-wed, but 13 years later, my husband and I are still recording every dollar that goes in and out. We never wonder where the money goes, and having to expose our spending to the light of the kitchen keeps us on our toes and feeling like we’re part of a team. You can download and print out our daily spending chart.
Editor’s Note: Strong evidence for the write-it-all down camp. If you’ve been putting it off, this is a rock-solid reason not to put it off anymore.
Frugal Babe wanted you to know: I would say that the best money-saving tip I ever got came from my parents: If possible, always buy secondhand. That is without a doubt the trick that stretches our dollars farther than anything else. Of course our house and car were secondhand, which a lot of people do. But many people don’t extend that logic to other purchases like clothing and furniture and housewares. We buy pretty much everything we need from thrift stores, garage sales and Craigslist. Our new purchases are limited to consumables and things like socks and underwear. It keeps our monthly spending quite low, allows us to save a good portion of our income, and we still have everything we need and most of what we want.
Editor’s Note: Key words here are “have everything we need”. When you focus on having the things you need, not the label or price tag that’s on them, you’ll be able to get more of the things you want.
Yes I Am Cheap had this to say: Do you need more money, but can’t squeeze another pence out of your employer’s iron fist? Cheat. Go ahead and have an affair. Not on your spouse, on your employer. I have learned to never be 100% loyal to one single employer. Instead, you must develop and exploit your talents in a way that can make you extra money. Can you knit or sew? Sell your creations online. Do you bake very well? Offer up your best goods to friends and family for a fee. Perhaps you have enough time on your hands to secure a small part-time job or to pick up some freelance work online at oDesk or eLance. In this case, cheating is a good thing. Just don’t tell your boss!
Editor’s Note: Hustle. Plain and simple. Very solid.
The Frugal Girl shared: When I heeded the common advice to communicate with my spouse about money, our financial lives really turned around. I regularly put together a monthly money report for him, and now that we’re both informed and on the same page, we’re able to spend and save our money more effectively.
Editor’s Note: Love this idea of getting both parties on the same page (and even going as far as to set up a monthly report – just like a business. After all, you’re in this game to make some profit, right?)
Little Miss Moneybags said: The envelope system is the best bit of money-saving advice I’ve ever used. Each payday, I’d cash my check and divide the money into accounts for groceries, eating out, entertainment, etc. Once the money in a particular envelope was gone, that was it until the next payday. Simple, but effective! This method allowed me to live in New York City while working for minimum wage long enough to land a better-paying job. I highly recommend it!
Editor’s Note: The envelope method takes dedication (as with all change), but it gets results for those that are focused enough to implement it, and live by it.
David Bakke, Editor at Money Crashers Personal Finance told us: A mortgage professional once told me to put as much extra money as possible toward my monthly mortgage payment. Even if it is just enough money to equate to one extra payment per year on your mortgage, you can significantly cut down what you’ll pay overall on your home loan (by reducing the amount paid in interest).
I refinanced my home loan in 2007 to a rate of 6.5%. Approximately two years ago, my mortgage company adjusted my escrow payment, which in turn lowered my monthly mortgage payment. So, for the last few years, I was able to pay roughly $70 extra per month, which equated to about one extra mortgage payment per year.
While recently tending to some retirement planning, I made an inquiry to a mortgage professional to determine when my mortgage would actually be paid off. I discovered that even if I don’t refinance in the near future (which is something that I am planning to do), my mortgage will be paid off in roughly 18 years, just by simply continuing to pay $70 extra per month on top of the principal. This means that I will have shaved six years off the length of my mortgage. Once I refinance again, hopefully within the next year, I should be able to trim the original length of my mortgage even more.
Do whatever you can to make extra payments on your mortgage, regardless of whether it’s $100 or only $10. Although the computations are fairly complex and your results will depend upon when you start paying extra, devoting more money to your monthly mortgage payment can provide you with great long-term monetary benefits.
Editor’s Note: Think about how much time and money you’re saving yourself simply stacking a little extra on your mortgage payment each month. Awesome results.
Frugal in Cornwall said: I’ve never really been given advice on being thrifty and frugal, but sought information online and that’s where I share my nuggets of information. I never think of myself as either creative but I do make sure what ever I do is lucrative. My greatest advice is to live under your means so you always have something left to save. We only take a holiday every other year and take that long to save and pay in full and come back without any debts. We do the same for what ever we buy. I recently bought a new-to-me suite of lounge furniture and paid cash for it and haggled down the price and sealed the deal with free delivery. We’re now saving for a new car and it will be small, economical and of course, it will be for the best price and will be paid in full.
Editor’s Note: Save until you can afford it. It can be done.
And from our own Head Happier Dude, Julian Hearn: A friend told me when proposing to my, then, girlfriend (now wife), he said the best place to buy diamonds rings from is Hatton Gardens, a part of London which is the centre of the UK diamond trade. He also said make sure to play one shop against another, because the competition there is high. So I jumped on the train, found a few suitable rings, got the prices and haggled down 50%. I got a £2500 ring for £1250 plus £25 train fare. The lessons I learnt: Haggle if you can, go to location where you can play off one seller against another, travel if the saving is going to be big enough, go to the source and try and cut the middle man out.
Editor’s Note: Don’t accept the sticker price. Haggle. And if you need to travel to do it…do it.
Serious about changing your finances? Take these 12 bits of advice and start making over your money today.
Which of these gems will be the easiest for you to start with? Share it in the comments!